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Publisher's Summary

French male model Simeon Duchamp has a lot of explaining to do.

Two years after a breakdown, Simeon is off drugs and booze and wants to stay that way.

On his road to reclaiming his life and modeling career, Sim first needs to apologize to the man he hurt the most - his ex-best friend and object of his unrequited affection Pieter Bayer. Pieter now has a long-term partner, artist Emily Raven, with whom he shares a baby son. Sim is amazed when Pieter accepts his apology, and invites him into his family.

Closeness to Pieter sees Simeon's longing for his friend is rekindled. But then, when Simeon meets an attractive older man, Bastian Roth at an Art Exhibition, he realizes that there is a soul more broken than his, and Simeon feels compelled to help. Simeon's connection with the troubled Bastian Roth turns his world upside down. He has to decide whether to allow himself to fall for the man who wants him or pine for the man he can never have.

This book can be heard as a standalone.

Please note: This story contains graphic descriptions of gay sex.

©2017 Isobel Starling (P)2018 Isobel Starling/ Decent Fellows Press.

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great narration really adds to the story.

The narration: If you haven't listened to this narrator yet, you definitely should. He performs so many accents in a way that seems flawless to me. I am always impressed by his variation and his ability to emote. Listening to a book narrated by him only enhances the enjoyment of the story.

The story:  Sweet Thing is book 2 of a series and can definitely be read as a standalone. The first book is an m/f book, some of Simeon's backstory seems to take place in it. The author catches us up enough that it doesn't have to be read first, but I did find myself adding it to my to-read list.

Simeon is kind of a broken character. He is on the mend after rehab and counseling for drug and alcohol addictions. His addictive personality disorder isn't something that will go away so it's a constant struggle to stay away from his former vices. And not to form new ones. He finds himself having to apologize to his very best friend Pieter, who he hurt in book one. There is such a history that is glossed over in this book, but you can feel their bond. Hence my wanting to read book one. Through Pieter and his wife, Simeon meets Bastien.

Bastien is broken also. Pieter and Emily encourage the relationship between Simeon and Bastien, thinking that two broken men can help each other. It's debatable if that is a good idea, but their intentions are good. Bastien's problems are with intimacy and while Simeon is able to help, Bastien is also dealing with loss and a lack of closure from his last relationship. He cares for Simeon, no doubt, but he has a lot of issues that don't allow him to put Simeon first, and things between them hit some rough spots.

There is some angst in this book, but it's not overly emotional. I felt disappointed at times in both characters. Which means they aren't too perfect to be real. It's a love story between broken and flawed men. I enjoyed the story and really liked Pieter and Emily's place in the book. I'd say they are the most prominent secondary characters and they add to the story. Overall, I would definitely recommend the book, especially the audio version.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Oh the feels

Sweet thing is not your typical sweet and fluffy romance. My emotions were all over the place listening to this book. Simeon is recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. His past is a mess, so much that he ruined his relationship with his best friend Pieter. Luckily when Simeon gets out of rehab Pieter forgives him, and they work on rebuilding there friendship.
Bastien has a sad past. He had a homophonic father and his partner died in an accident. Simeone and Bastien first encounter was terrible. I kept thinking how are they going to get past this?? They work things out and a relationship blooms. Sweet thing is about second chances. It’s incredible emotional. It’s sad, sweet and hot. There were some twist and turns I wasn’t expecting. I couldn’t stop listening. The narrator did a really good job. I definitely recommend this book 😍😍

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

very good

i really liked this.. i think this is the first time ive heard this narrator ( i might be wrong but im pretty sure this was the first time lol) this narrator did an awesome job hitting the feelings and complexity of the characters.. it was well written of course and well narrated. very good

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

You are the only drug I need, Bast

So there are books that are meant to be read and there are those that are meant to be heard. And this definitely is the kind of book that you need to listen to enjoy its story to the fullest. 😌 Man oh man! 😱 Gary Furlong did such a sublime job narrating the hell out of this book, he instantly became my new favorite obsession. 😁 And although unplanned, my audio soulmate Trio and I ended up BR-listening this book together and we are both enchanted by this little gem. 😉 Now, let’s talk about the story.



Simeon was a spoilt, selfish and self-destructive supermodel who was on the verge of ending his own life. But that was a past life for him now. As a fledgling recovering alcoholic, Sim is now trying to salvage whatever friendship is left between he and his once best friend/his unrequited love Pieter. And surprisingly, Pieter forgave him for what he did in the past and embraced him as his best friend again. Now on the road to recovery, Sim met an interesting and mysterious handsome man while attending the opening gallery of Pieter’s partner Emily. Now Sim has to decide whether to still pine for a man who would never love him that way or to start a new life with a man who’s meant to be with him in every way.


After the tragic death of his lover and his father in the same accident, Bastian has been a living corpse for almost two years now. Life has lost all meaning when he lost the love of his life on that day. Being unable to digest the idea of physical intimacy with another man for a couple years, Bast’s interest is roused for the first time when he laid his eyes on the irresistible Simeon Duchamp for the first time. But he’s a broken man and Sim has his own demons to battle. Can he let go of the past to start a fresh new beginning with a man he knew is going to be perfect for him? Or will he wallow in the inescapable misery until the end of his time.


The hesitant dalliance between Sim and Bast is uneasy to say the least. But the men are trying their best to make it work. However when the demons from both their pasts caught up to them, will they be able to overcome the biggest obstacle in their relationship to see the happily ever after in the end?



This book could have gone so wrong for me because there are a lot of things that I try to stay away in this book. I’m not good with books where characters have mental problems. I can understand the appeal for some people but it just isn’t for me. Also, I dislike the characters who are still pining for their dead lovers or ex lovers from the past. 🙂 But boy OH boy, I felt like this book was just made for me because I loved every single second listening this book. From being quite hesitant and somewhat scared of diving into it, just after 30 mins into listening this book and I was so hooked. I admit that I struggle to empathize with Sim in the beginning just because he’s so entitled and spoilt but you really do warm up to him. The tale of these two men finding love, hope and a new beginning in each other was simply beautiful, lyrical, heartbreakingly romantic and somewhat mysterious. 💜 This really is so much more than a book to recovery and love. There are mysteries that are waiting to be unfold (I’ll tell you one thing. I didn’t see that coming 😳 and I certainly didn’t see that one coming either. 😱) there are jaw dropping moments which made so much sense about the whole spectacle and I loved every single second witnessing it. And did I say Gary Furlong became my new favorite obsession? 😂 OMG! I can’t even! 😱 His French and German accents were simply divine in this book! It’s toe-curling delicious!!! 😋 And don’t start me on smut, the smut in this book was .. well, simply out of this world! It was all kind of sizzling, scorching and unbelievably erotic! 🔥😍🔥 I was breathless, ecstatic and obsessed about this whole book! 😍 It’s now my life mission to listen to every MM book Gary Furlong narrated. 😁 And did I also tell you about the ending? It was just magical and a fairy-tale like. It really worked out well in the end. 😌 My only advice to you is that just to be a bit patient when you go into this book because you might not warm up to the characters immediately but after Sim met Bast, you will be a goner! And do listen to this book instead of reading it if you are into audios because everyone needs to witness the perfect baby concocted by Gary Furlong’s magical narration and Isobel Starling’s beautiful writing. Can’t recommend enough! 👏 Loved it so sooooooooo much! 😍



5 the only drug I need is you, Bast stars
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️




Audio rating

The story - 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The narration - 5 sublime stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The performance - 5 toe-curling stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Overall - 5 awesome stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A surprising new book

*TRIGGER WARNING*
Dub/con/sexual assault

I put the warning there because I feel that this should have been a part of the blurb for the book.

I thought this was a beautiful story. One broken man, trying to get his life back together after mistakes from the past; one broken because of a broken heart.

After Simeon goes through treatment for his problems, he reunites with his one "true love" who is completely devoted to his new family. In comes Bastian, the beautiful stranger. After a night gone terrifyingly wrong, one thinks all hope is lost. However, due to circumstances and changing thought processes, our two MCs find their way back into each other's lives.

I absolutely loved the way Starling chose to have Simeon help Bastian find his way back from his self shame. The dynamics between the MCs are a mix of volatile and sizzling. The slow burn build up made the romance seem more legitimate, although it speeds up rather quickly after a short time.

When the past comes haunting, we see both characters relapse, which is shattering. But after they both hit, not rock bottom, but dangerous lows, they find a way to get back to themselves.

I do have to say that I adored Emily. Her sensuality and personality added to the story for me. I thought she was a wonderful secondary character; I actually enjoyed her more than Peter, which I found amusing.

I absolutely adore Gary Furlong's performance. He really brings the characters to life. He is wonderful to listen to when foreign languages are involved. Just beautiful.

Happy listening!

*I received a copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.*

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Can two broken souls become one?

Simeon is a French model who has fallen into the world of drugs and booze. After a long stint in rehab, Simeon is determined to get his life back on track and stay sober. One thing he must do is apologize to his former best friend and unrequited love, Pieter. Pieter accepts the apology and their friendship is rekindled, but so is Simeon's love. But Pieter is straight. Finally, Simeon meets an older man named Bastian who lost the love of his life and is also a broken man. After a rough start, they become friends and Simeon decides to help Bastian heal, which will also bring some change to his own life. They become lovers, but Bastian's problems come close to destroying what they have.

Isobel Starling develops deeply flawed characters who are basically good people trying to climb their way out of despair. Gary Furlong is a fantastic narrator whom Starling has used for other books. He can do many accents and voices and breathes life into the characters, making them real people.

If you love M/M and lots of feels, definitely give this one a listen.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

more than 5 stars 💫💫💫

I'm feeling starry after this book I love that very much the book was lovely and very well written I loved the story very much it was a little bit fuzzy and cute and adorable
the narrator was perfect love the accent
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

An excellent narration

Simeon Duchamp’s personality disorders almost ended with him dead. Now he has to make up for the past mistakes, and try to live without the alcohol and drugs that helped him face reality. An old love, a new love, and his inability to cope with rejection, may be fatal for him…
Bastian Roth knows a lot about rejections, and about losing the person you love. Stranded in a haze of sorrow, Simeon becomes a beacon that may help him find his footing again. But a wrong reaction to a secret revealed threatens to send Simeon away from him forever….
This is a bittersweet love story, about a young male model who fell in love with his best friend, made a series of wrong decisions that almost ended with him killed. Simeon is a difficult man, and needs continuous support to be able to function. I could not bond with him, and that’s my only regret about this book. Simeon seems to me too spoiled and flighty to be able to relate to him. Enter Bastian Roth, a bit older, and heartbroken since the death of his lover. Bastian finds in Simeon the spark the needs to feel alive again. There is a lot of bedroom action between these two, and their chemistry is obvious. After a bit of anguish and some trouble, they get the sweet HEA they deserved.
The story is well-written, the plot engaging, the chemistry hot, but what makes it really special is the amazing performance by Gary Furlong. His ability to provide the characters not only with different accents, but also with a full variety of nuances makes listening to this story a really delightful experience.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful, sweet story

I loved this audiobook. Simeon was so sweet and cute (and hot!), but also funny. I loved the way Pieter and Emily were so forgiving and wanted to help Simeon’s recovery, and I loved the way that also inspired Simeon to forgive and want to help Bastian. Bastian’s tragedy, and the betrayal when it came out, broke my heart, but I was so glad to see him and Simeon come together. All around, a fantastic story of love, redemption, and forgiveness that I will definitely revisit in the future.

The narration by Gary Furlong was exceptional. He is one of my favorite narrators. He does such a great job giving distinct voices to each character and he is always spot on with expressing the characters’ emotions.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Surprising sweetness and unexpected turns

This is my fifth Isobel Starling book and I had high hopes for it because I adored her books Silken, As You Wish and Illuminate The Shadows. This is also another audio performance by the talented Gary Furlong, a narrator I have adored pretty much ever since I started listening to audio books. as I wrote below, I did have some issues with the story, parts I felt could work better, and I have read it when it came out a while back. I was sure that the re-read on audio will give me the same feeling regarding the story. HOWEVER, the narration by Furlong added another dimension to the story, a layer of emotions so subtle and yet complex I can honestly say I hardly noticed the issues I had while reading on ebook. This is a complex book character wise. with many accents to nail, three languages AND a baby. Furlong took it all with the ease of a true voice actor and really emphasized the differences between each unique person. He flows seamlessly from French to German, effeminate to ,masculine, young to old and made this book that much more enjoyable the second time around.

Now about the story:
WHAT I DID LIKE is the way the story unfolded, with twists and surprises along the way, like Isobel does best. Their relationship was sweet and touching, even with its rocky violent start. I loved how they both had something the other needed, they complimented each other almost Yin and Yang like. This book revolves around healing and understanding past mistakes, and I felt it was incorporated into the story very well most of the time. I like that they talked about things and did not just rush in and deal with the fallout. I feel like she managed to create a wide range of relationships between many different characters and it made the book rich and beautifully layered.
This was a good book to me mostly because of its potential, and I wish it was more consistent. while reading it (before I listened to the audio) I had some issues with the book and at times it confused me. Some parts were delicately handled and the characters rich with depth and uniqueness and others were almost soap opera shallow. I have to say I did not like the beginning, where some parts were overly detailed and repetitive and others flew by and appeared under developed. I am glad I pushed through and finished it but there were still parts I felt did not balance well. I was surprised by that because as I said I loved her books, and her writing style is usually more cohesive and consistent.

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  • Debbie
  • 10-17-18

Emotional slow burn romance

This is the first book I have read that is set in a different country to America or the UK, that isn’t just mc’s visiting. I loved that I didn’t know the area and wow do I now want to go travelling!!!

Bastian and sim are two broken men who find that love can work when you get to know each other and work at the relationship. I loved this story, it had me laughing, crying and shouting no no don’t do it a few times!! Word of warning don’t listen in the car because you get weird looks when you get to your destination and can’t leave the car because you are so engrossed in the story!!!! I liked both mc’s equally and was cheering for them both, this is a slow burn story where they get to know each other and build trust before they get intimate. There were few sex scenes which were relevant to the story and flowed through the story line.

Although I found Gary’s narration hard to get used to for the first 10 minutes, I think it was because of the heavy accent, but I quickly got used to it and feel it would have been strange without it and the story would not have been so deep had he not used the accents. I loved the voices he used for each character.

Really enjoyable story that I will be listening to again and again. Will also be checking out other books by the author and narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • MaryD
  • 04-27-18

Perfectly Sweet and Sexy

Simeon and Bastian are two lost broken souls and Isobel Starling has crafted a wonderful journey where they found love and acceptance. By the end of their journey the cracks have healed but they are still there beneath the surface. Simeon loves his best friend Pieter. But Simeon doesn’t understand why the love he feels is not returned. He then does something stupid and jeopardises that very friendship. What I liked about this story is the the positive rebuilding of relationships and in doing so Simeon is able to understand there are different kinds of love. He is then able to help Bastian heal. The road for them is not smooth and this, along with the very hot scenes, kept me riveted. The scenes were so hot I found myself double checking that no one else around me could hear them! And such a perfect ending, left me feeling uplifted.

Gary Furlong is such a talented narrator. His characterisation of Simeon, Pieter, Bastian and Emily was excellent. His use of language and accents (French & German) fleshed out these characters and brought a new dimension to the story.

I was given a audiobook copy in exchange for an honest opinion.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • 04-20-18

Starling and Furlong- an amazing team

When I see a new release by Isobel Starling with narration by Gary Furlong it's a must buy.

SWEET THING is not your run-of-the-mill tale. It deals with hard subjects like unrequited love, betrayal, loss, addiction and second chances at life and love. The writing is realistic and well observed. It is at times very funny and sweet, and at other times devastatingly gorgeous and heartbreaking.

Simeon and Bastian are beautifully broken and their journey to love is not an easy one, but my goodness its a rewarding listen.

Gary Furlong never ceases to surprise with his range of accents- in this he is English, French and German for multiple characters. Each character is well-defined and individual. He even speaks effortlessly in French and German (which is suuuuper hot!)

The story twists and tangles your emotions in the best ways and the ending is just perfect.
Another masterpeice. Highly recommended.